Rizhao(China): The homestay industry has in recent years witnessed fast development in Rizhao, Shandong. The city has forged a new path of reform and innovation, creating a Rizhao Model for the development of the homestay industry, by active exploration and efforts in areas such as legal compliance, standards, quality-oriented growth, and industry clusters, according to the Information Office of Rizhao Municipal People’s Government. The 2021 Dragon Boat Festival Holiday Travel Big Data Report released by Ctrip in June this year reveals that Rizhao has experienced one of the most robust increases in bookings for holiday accommodation. As of November, Rizhao has 56 boutique homestays and 1,200 Yujiale fishing-themed tourist establishments.
The boutique homestays market segment in Rizhao emerged in 1999 when the first batch of Yujiale establishments opened for operation in Wangjiazao Village. During the ensuing two decades, Rizhao has expended unremitting effort in a quality-oriented, brand-based, industrialized development approach, including an improved license application and handling process, optimized approval process, strengthened policies, and financial support. Five Rural Revitalization Demonstration Projects have been launched, namely Beautiful Villages, Rural Complex, Featured Towns, Modern Agricultural Industrial Parks, and Boutique Homestays. The boutique homestays project aims to promote sustained development of the homestay industry, satisfying demand for various levels of accommodation.
As well as establishing high-quality accommodation, the homestay industry of Rizhao is also focused on developing a range of characteristics. To this end, there are four types of homestays: rural life experience, coastal and marine recreation, rustic luxury, and town-based. These four types of homestays highlight the regional characteristics of Rizhao based on its fishing folk customs, coastal setting, artistic creativity, and marine resources, plus a unique combination of different cultures such as the solar culture, marine culture and tea culture. Rizhao is one of the first northern Chinese areas that have introduced tea planting from the south.
Alongside the homestay industry, a wide range of enterprises have taken root in Rizhao, for example, catering, entertainment, shopping, cultural and artistic, and DIY businesses, and upon these a range of small tourist destinations and tourist attractions have been shaped. By facilitating the catering, shopping, entertainment, research / academic, and health and wellness sectors, Rizhao has extended the upstream and downstream supply chain of its boutique homestay industry, to increase added value and bring new vitality into the boutique homestay industry, with representative boutique brands such as the Beihai Jinhua Zen & Tea Inn, Quanshan Yunding Bufu Hotel, Chunfeng Shili Rural Cultural Tourism Creative Park, Small Tea Mountain Homestay, and Fenghuangcuo Village.
Source: The Information Office of Rizhao Municipal People’s Government